Jodhpur is the second largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was formerly the seat of a princely state of the same name, it was the capital of the kingdom known as Marwar. Jodhpur is a popular tourist destination, featuring many palaces, forts and temples, set in the stark landscape of the Thar desert
The city is known as the Sun City for the bright, sunny weather it enjoys all year. It is also referred to as the Blue City due to the blue tinge of the whitewashed houses around the Mehrangarh Fort. Jodhpur lies near the geographic centre of Rajasthan state, which makes it a convenient base for travel in a region much frequented by tourists.
Geography and climate
The climate of Jodhpur is generally hot and arid but with a rainy season from late June to September (Köppen BWhw). Although the average rainfall is around 360 millimetres (14 in), it is extraordinarily variable. In the famine year of 1899, Jodhpur received only 24 millimetres (0.94 in), but in the flood year 1917 it received as much as 1,178 millimetres (46.4 in)
Umaid Bhawan Palace
The Umaid Bhawan Palace is not only one of India’s most imposing palaces but also among its most recent. This lavish art deco monument to royal living had an improbable conception: it was built as a public relief and employment project during a long period of drought. Over one million square feet (90,000 m²) of the finest marble was used in the construction of the palace. A special type of sandstone, called Chittar sandstone, has been used in constructing the palace and this gives it a special effect.
The Mehrangarh Fort lies at the outskirts of Jodhpur city and is located atop a 125 m high hill. The magnificent Mehrangarh Fort (Jodhpur ka kila) is the most majestic and one of the largest forts in India. It was originally started (c.1459) by Rao Jodha, founder of Jodhpur. However, most of the extant fort dates from the period of Jaswant Singh (1638-78). The walls of the fort are up to 36 m high and 21 m wide; they enclose some exquisite structures.
The Jaswant Thada is architectural landmark found in Jodhpur. It is a white marble memorial built in 1899 in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. The monument, in its entirety, is built out of intricately carved sheets of marble. These stones are extremely thin and polished so that they emit a warm glow when the sun’s rays dance across their surface. Within this cenotaph, there are also two more tombs.
An ancient temple, well worth the visit, lies in the village of Osiyan, about 60 km outside Jodhpur. It is believed that all the Oswal (a Major Jain community) originated from Osiyan. There are many sections of this temple, which was built in several distinct phases.
The Handicrafts industry has in recent years eclipsed all other industries in the city. By some estimates, the furniture export segment is a $200 million industry, directly or indirectly employing as many as 200,000 people. Other items manufactured include textiles, metal utensils, bicycles, ink and sporting goods. A flourishing cottage industry exists for the manufacture of such items as glass bangles, cutlery, carpets and marble products.